November 8, 2017 (Ottawa, ON)
Today the government announced bridge funding for the Polar Environment Arctic Research Laboratory (PEARL). PEARL is one of seven projects previously funded by the NSERC-administered Climate Change and Atmospheric Research program, the only dedicated funding stream for academic climate science, which was not renewed in Budget 2017.
With over a decade of internationally-recognized scientific research, PEARL is one of only a handful of high Arctic research stations in the world. From its strategic location in Canada’s high arctic, PEARL is able to investigate crucial environmental issues like ozone depletion, airborne spread of pollutants and monitor high Arctic climate changes.
Evidence for Democracy worked with researchers, advocates, and citizens to put pressure on the government to re-invest in climate science and ensure the continuation of research at PEARL. After receiving thousands of messages from Canadians, the government has committed to bridge funding of $1.6 million to ensure the vital research at PEARL can continue into Fall 2019.
No funding has been committed for the other six research projects that were funded by the CCAR program.
“We are pleased to see that the government listened to the concerns of the science community by providing bridge funding for PEARL.” said Katie Gibbs, Executive Director of Evidence for Democracy, “This is a great first step but more needs to be done to address the huge funding gap that currently exists for climate and atmospheric science in Canada.”
“While the funding has been extended into 2019, we know that long-term planning is necessary for solid, effective research.” said Kathleen Walsh, Director of Policy, “We hope to see the government take leadership in climate science and research by ensuring it is well-funded and represented in Budget 2018.”